GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, issued a testy statement Thursday after The Virginian-Pilot reported that Norment oversaw production of the 1968 Virginia Military Institute yearbook, "The Bomb," which included blackface photos and racial slurs."With 114 editions of The Bomb available online dating back to 1885, I am...
By Owen FitzGerald/ Capital News ServiceDespite controversies around the Capitol, Virginia legislators and lobbyists met on the basketball court to raise money for cancer research, with two notable absences: Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.Both had participated in last year’s fundraising event that raised nearly $35,000 for research...
Virginia is closer than ever to figuring out how to fix the process of drawing voting maps, but some Democrats are backing away from the bill that would do it.House Democrats have serious concerns about the redistricting reform bill that passed  their chamber, saying it doesn’t keep legislators far...
As the House of Delegates prepares to consider adding a brand new agency with oversight over Virginia's Medicaid forecasting in response to an unexpected half-a-billion dollar bill, the department currently responsible for Medicaid expenses is trying to fix problems its own way.The Department of Medical Assistance Services has hired...
Virginia won’t enter the nine-state carbon emissions trading program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative until 2020 under regulations being finalized by the state, but debate about how much it might cost utility ratepayers is already heating up.Estimates range from little or no cost — or even...
After hours of back-and-forth testimony in both House and Senate committees, in which lawmakers and lobbyists alike argued over four bills dealing with balance billing, only one clawed its way out of the chaos and passed a chamber on Tuesday.The Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Glen Sturtevant,...
The unexpected half-a-billion dollar bill that landed on lawmakers' desks in November has inspired some senators to take a big step to stop it from happening again.Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, submitted legislation this year that would create a brand new state agency with the sole responsibility of overseeing the...
Both chambers of the General Assembly passed legislation Tuesday that bans holding a cellphone for any reason while driving, ending years of debate and replacing a current ban on texting that police said was virtually unenforceable.Lawmakers who opposed tightening restrictions said their views have changed as they’ve encountered more...
What defines Virginia’s low- and middle-income residents is at the heart of a heated debate about taxes.Democrats and Gov. Ralph Northam want to adjust tax policy to benefit what they've called low-income Virginians while Republicans want to focus on tax relief for the middle class.But based on income data,...
A dispute between the dominant health system in Hampton Roads and a public hospital in Chesapeake has spilled into the legislature, and on Monday the Senate took the side of the public hospital.Legislation sponsored by Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax City, would require a vertically-integrated health carrier — health...